An Alternative Solution - Review
Following fairly quickly on the heals of their latest full-length album, we have this new remix work from these synthpop masters.
All the tracks should sound familiar, we basically have an identical track list as the original album, yet each track is presented in an alternate remix (as the title implies).
The album kicks off with an excellent remix of "If We Stay Here", remixed by Zeromancer
. The remix is presented with a heavy, driving beat and bass with grinding guitar giving it an excellent edge, creating a perfect club mix feel. From here favorites span the album, many of the same original favorites are presented in excellent remixes. The hot single "Only Better" is presented with the "Mechanical Cabaret Bi-Polar Mix" featuring a heavy beat and alternating between a mix of various layered electronics and a simple minimalistic approach. Another favorite appears just a bit later with "Is It So Hard", the original is a classic synthpop track and on this disc we get an excellent remix from another all-time favorite band Iris
, with their excellent moody synthpop style and featuring Julia Beyer. There are several big names providing remixes including Daniel Meyer of Haujobb, Destroid
and about another dozen projects, and another favorite remix is presented by the Assemblage 23
with a moving dance-friendly mix of "How Long?". Remixes presented by Informatik
for "Want You" and the "Parralox Remix" of "Hopes, Dreams" add variety and an interesting touch to the album.
As with any remix album and many compilations, you get a broad mix of various artists and varied styles, not always coinciding with the listeners idealistic views. While I really enjoy many of the remixes on this disc, unfortunately there are a few that fall short or are outside the styles that I really enjoy. However, many fans can probably enjoy some of these and will still enjoy this alternative work regardless. It is a great collection of tracks and a nice concept, rather than providing a dozen remixes of a single track or a few tracks, one remix of each track from the album really works in the end. I think fans will really enjoy it and collectors will love it.
A Perfect Solution - Review
I think by now this band needs no introduction, they are a staple in the synthpop scene. They have been going strong since 1991 and this marks another great album in their career.
We're presented with eleven solid tracks on this album, and for those that are true fans, the single Only Better
adds another five excellent tracks to enjoy.
The album starts strong and remains strong as each piece comes out with a powerful, dance-friendly mix of electro-pop elements. The inclusion of a live drummer may not make a difference to the average listener, but the percussion on this album is strong and gives it a nice edge. The inclusion of various guitars and driving synths keep the music flowing as a nice backdrop for Mark's smooth vocals.
There are several favorites on this album with the most obvious being the precursor single "Only Better" that was received with positive reviews and response at dance clubs and german alternative charts. "If We Stay Here" is the track that kicks off the album and sets the stage for the melodic, yet hard-hitting, club-friendly pieces that follow. There is some nice variety in "Want You" with a heavier edge and mid-tempo rhythm, or the moving, yet somber piece "It's Gone". But overall, I think it's the previously mentioned upbeat pieces that describe this album. "Who Says" is a fun piece about a mis-matched relationship, and "The Bitter End" is appropriately named to finalize the album, and both are fast-paced, favorite melodic synthpop pieces at their finest. And we can't forget the interesting interludes in between each track showing even more diverse talent and musical styles.
It's great when there are bands like this that can keep going, creating great new music year after year, but not losing that solid foundation that attracted their fans in the first place. This band has managed to do it once again, so go out and pick it up if you haven't done so already.
Label: Metropolis Records